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Welcome

Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the November 2011 edition of the To Be Who I Am e-newsletter. This issue is full of new resources for schools, health professionals, employers, youth workers, trans people and their families including:

  • a trans human rights poster to be launched on Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • FAQs for schools as part of the Commission’s new online fact sheets: Trans people: facts and information
    Read more…

New trans resources for NZ schools

  • How can schools support trans students and their families?
  • What name and pronoun should be put on a trans student’s school documentation?
  • What uniform or dress code applies to trans students?
    Read more…

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance poster

The 20th November 2011 is the 13th International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). Two New Zealand commemorations are being held a week later on 29 November. They are a chance to remember Diksy Jones who was killed in Upper Hutt in 2009, aged 64. Diksy was a quiet, gentle, cabinet-maker who loved old cars, cricket and cats. TDOR also demonstrates the power and resilience of trans communities speaking out against violence, proudly being who they are.
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Trans Human Rights Poster

On 20 November, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), the Human Rights Commission will release a poster affirming the human rights of trans people. Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the poster says “trans people are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
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Image of a health professional

Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) has published the first resource for New Zealand health professionals about working with trans people. It  is available as an online guide on the Ministry of Health’s website.
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Large changes to WPATH Standards of Care

Wellbeing image

It has been ten years since the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) revised its standards of care (SOC). The latest version, released on 25 September 2011, explicitly states that “being transsexual, transgender or gender nonconforming is a matter of diversity, not pathology”.”This is a momentous occasion,” said WPATH Revision Committee Chair and University of Minnesota Professor, Eli Coleman, as he launched the new SOC.
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STP2012 logo

On 28 September the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to remove gender identity disorders from its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The resolution suggests that, instead, the WHO should develop a “non-pathologising reclassification” as part of its current review that aims to produce a revised ICD in 2015.
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Sex Files report

A 6 October 2011 decision by the High Court of Australia allows trans people in Western Australia to alter their identity documents without first having major surgery. The decision is in line with the findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2009 Sex Files Report which recommended that surgery should not be required before a trans person could legally change their sex.
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Australian passport

Trans and intersex people in Australia can now change the sex details on their passport to female (F), male (M) or indeterminate / unspecified / intersex (X). Sex reassignment surgery is not required. A letter from a doctor confirming the trans or intersex person’s gender identity can be supplied instead.
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Massive Steps at the United Nations

ARC International's logo

This year there have been “massive steps” taken internationally to recognise sexual orientation and gender identity human rights, according to ARC International. Their co-founder, New Zealander John Fisher, attended the Wellington Outgames human rights conference in March. Read ARC’s e-bulletin to find out what is happening internationally on these human rights issues and how you can be involved.
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CMDHB logo

The project team from Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) have just released their draft good practice guide for health professionals working with trans people. Gender Reassignment Health Services for Trans People within New Zealand is now open for public consultation.
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Trans people are invited to join a community video-conference to discuss CMDHB’s draft guide. This will be held in the Human Rights Commission’s Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch offices from 3 – 5pm on Monday 14 February.
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Counsellor Mani Mitchell and Psychologist Daniel Eakins have confirmed the details of a Wellington meeting to discuss CMDHB’s draft guide. This meeting is for health professionals working with trans people. The details are:
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CMDHB’s draft good practice guide will include a list of health professionals who regularly work with trans people and have agreed for their contact details to be made available to other professional colleagues. This section of the guide is still in development.

Anyone interested in discussing being included can contact CMDHB on healthinfo@middlemore.co.nz.

Hui Logo

Come and meet your trans and intersex whānau / family from the Pacific, Australia, Asia and beyond. Local trans and intersex activists are hosting a regional gathering 15 March, the day before the Outgames human rights conference.
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Medical Image

Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) is just completing its draft resource for health professionals working with trans people. As soon as it is available, the draft resource will be circulated as a special edition of this email newsletter. Your comments will be needed to make this resource as useful as possible for health professionals and the trans people they support.

A video-conference has been set up on Monday 14 February to get community feedback on the draft. Psychologist Daniel Eakins and counsellor Mani Mitchell are also organising a Wellington meeting in February for health professionals to discuss this resource.
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Challenging forced sterilisation

Activist Guide

One case study in the Activists’ Guide to the Yogyakarta Principles focuses on the work of Transgender Network Netherlands. They are using the Yogyakarta Principles to challenge the legal requirement that trans people must have undergone sex reassignment surgery in order to change their sex / gender details.  The Netherlands is one of a number of countries where trans people are pushing for similar law changes.
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Sharing international successes

ARC International logo

Do you want to know what is happening internationally to improve human rights for trans people? How are people using the Yogyakarta Principles to make a real difference in their communities? Here are links to online resources explaining how the Yogyakarta Principles are being used successfully around the world.
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UN logo

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken out against human rights violations based on gender identity or sexual orientation twice in recent months. This progress has come about in part because of the powerful statements made by trans, intersex, lesbian, gay and bisexual activists on panels held at the United Nations. Watch this moving speech by transpinay activist Sass Rogando Sasot from the Philippines on Human Rights Day 2009.


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Cover of Human Rights in NZ 2010

The Transgender Inquiry’s final report was released two years ago. What progress has been made since then and what further changes are necessary? These questions are asked in the sexual and gender minorities’ chapter in Human Rights in New Zealand 2010. It concludes that there needs to be a continued focus on legal recognition, the rights to education and health, and explicit protection for trans people under the Human Rights Act.
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Kia ora, Welcome!

Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the February 2011 edition of the To Be Who I Am e-newsletter.

Counties Manukau DHB is about to release its draft guidance for health professionals working with trans people. Inside this issue you will find details about a trans community video-conference and a Wellington meeting organised by local health professionals to discuss this draft resource. Plus find out how to register for the Pacific and Asia regional trans and intersex hui being held in Wellington on 15 March, the day before the Outgames human rights conference.
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Outgames conference logo

Register for the Outgames human rights conference before Monday 7 February, to save $25 on the Outgames participation fee. Other important dates are listed below including Friday 18 February, the deadline for applying for a SS4Q youth scholarship to the conference.
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NZ Trans mental health resource

Joe

Joe

“I get annoyed when people say I’m coping or I’m struggling with depression. I just say I have depression – shit happens…”
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Papatuanuku Marae

Papatuanuku Marae

Nau mai, piki mai, kake mai, haere mai ki tēnei hui nui whakaharahara. Mauria mai ō kōrero, ō whakaaro hoki. He wā anō hei maumahara i a rātou kua para i te huarahi, kua huri ki tua o te arai ki Paerau. Mauriora!

What information do GPs, counsellors and other health professionals need to:
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Update on the Trans Health project

Shannon Anahera White is the new whakawahine rep on the Reference Group for the national Gender Reassignment Health Services for Trans people project.
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This important research is identifying the mental health promotion and prevention services that trans, queer and intersex people in New Zealand need. They want to hear from you!
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Outgames human rights conference

outgames-conference-final

Many thanks to all of you who put in Expressions of Interest (EOIs) offering a workshop, panel presentation or paper for the 2nd AsiaPacific Games Human Rights Conference. The organisers have been overwhelmed by the response from trans communities and individuals from afar and within New Zealand. They are aiming to contact everyone who put in an EOI before the end of October.
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Kia ora, welcome!

Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the October 2010 edition of the To Be Who I Am e-newsletter.
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outgames-conference-final

Strength in Diversity is the theme for next year’s Asia Pacific Outgames human rights conference. It is a chance to celebrate the human rights of all sexual and gender minorities, including whakawāhine, tangata ira tane, fa’afafine, fakaleiti, akava’ine, transsexual, transgender and gender queer people.

A group of trans people from around the country met over the phone on 21 July and discussed how to make the conference empowering for trans communities. This small group of volunteers ranged in age from their 20s through to their 70s. They have a lot of ideas and are looking for other volunteers to help.
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an-dvd-cover

Award-winning filmmaker Kirsty MacDonald’s new website gives people access to six flim clip extracts from her film Assume Nothing.

The 30 minutes of footage is a powerful educational resource, celebrating gender and cultural diversity in Aotearoa/New Zealand.


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Have your say

This year, comments from trans and intersex people and the Human Rights Commission resulted in significant changes to Statistics New Zealand’s Sex Classification Standard.

There are now opportunities to provide comments on:

  • the Outgames participation policy for trans and intersex sportspeople
  • a draft Commission chapter on human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity


Read more…

Building a Regional Network

In June, three trans people from New Zealand attended the first International Congress on Gender Identity and Human Rights, in Barcelona. They met with other delegates from the Pacific and Asia to start building a regional network of trans people working on human rights issues.


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Time to Get Active

Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the July 2010 edition of the To Be Who I Am e-newsletter.

This issue advertises lots of ways to get involved in projects that have the potential to make a real difference for trans people. They need your support.

It is also time to start training for the Asia Pacific Outgames, even if it is just so you can run between all the amazing workshops at the human rights conference.


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Waikato DHB plastic surgeon Chris McEwan is passionate about the opportunity the Gender Reassignment Health Services for Trans People project offers. He is one of five clinicians on the CMDHB-led project’s Reference Group, selected because of his experience and interest in trans people’s unmet health needs. Mr McEwan also spoke at the recent Agender conference in Hamilton.

“I think this project is essential. It is the best attempt to create something that is relevant to New Zealand, created in New Zealand and with input from trans communities,” says Mr McEwan.
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Meet the 4 Trans Reps

The 4 trans reps

Joey MacDonald, Amie Clisby, Max Lawson and Cathy Parker are the four trans representatives selected for the reference group that will advise Counties Manukau DHB about how to develop a national trans resource for health professionals. They have set up a Facebook page and will have their first video-conference report back to the wider community from 3.30-5pm on Monday 2 August.


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New DIA webpage for trans people

Pauanesia Passport Cover

Pauanesia Passport Cover

How do I apply for an X passport?

What do I need to do to change the sex details on my birth certificate?

Trans people and their lawyers regularly contact the Human Rights Commission and community groups asking these questions. It is great to be able to now direct people to this new page on the Department of Internal Affairs’ website: Information for Transgender Applicants
Read more…

transadvocates-image2

Trans people at the national human rights training hui in April shared projects they have set up to build support for the Transgender Inquiry recommendations. This month we include an interview with Kelly Ellis and Allyson Hamblett who have started TransAdvocates, a trans law project.
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hands-up

For this project to be successful, CMDHB need support from health professionals and trans people. In particular, the project team is keen to:

  • receive links to good resources about providing health services to trans people
  • develop a network of clinicians working with trans people
  • be contacted by people interested in receiving updates and providing comments on draft documents.


Read more…

6070-hands-typing-on-a-computer-keyboard-clipart-picture

Counties Manukau DHB has set up a Reference Group to get advice from trans people and health professionals for this project. They have asked for four trans reps – two FtMs / trans men and two MtFs / trans women.
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question-mark

The February email newsletter announced that Counties Manukau DHB (CMDHB) was about to start a project to improve the healthcare available to trans people who want to transition. This national project, funded by the Ministry of Health, is now under way. It is called Gender Reassignment Health Services for Trans People in New Zealand.
Read more…

cmdhblogolargej

Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to this special edition of the To Be Who I Am newsletter.

This issue:

  • provides important information about the national trans health project being led by Counties Manukau DHB
  • gives examples of support the project is seeking from health professionals and trans people
  • asks trans people to fill out an application form if they want to apply to be one of four community reps on a Reference Group to support this project. The deadline for applications is Monday 17 May.
Tapu Te Ranga marae

This is the second hui hosted by the Human Rights Commission for trans people from around the country who are working on human rights issues in their communities.

Interested? Read the rest of this article, download the National Trans Human Rights Hui application form fill it out and email, fax or post it back to Julie Watson by Tuesday 23 February.


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Wellington OutGames 2011

Wellington OutGames 2011

Have you ever been to the Gay Games or OutGames? Next year you won’t have to travel far to get there. Over 1000 trans and queer people will be swarming to Wellington from all over Asia, the Pacific and New Zealand. Not only will there be sport (including netball), and cultural events but also a human rights conference. And they need your ideas and help.
Read more…

Trans Health Review update

Counties Manukau DHB logo

A contract has now been signed between Counties Manukau District Health Board and the Ministry of Health for a Trans Health Review. More information about how trans people can be involved will be put on the Health page of the Inquiry website and emailed out in a special To Be Who I Am newsletter as soon as it is available.


Read more…

Tapu te Ranga marae

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Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to this special edition of the To Be Who I Am newsletter.

This issue includes two great opportunities for trans people to get more involved in human rights issues. Read how you can:

  • apply to come to the second Trans Human Rights Training hui in Wellington from 10-12 April ( the deadline for applying is Tuesday 23 February) and
  • help create trans workshops or presentations for the Asia Pacific OutGames human rights conference in Wellington in March next year

There is also an update about the Trans Health Review and information about an intersex discussion in Auckland on 26 February.

Intersex image

In July 2009 the Commission met with a small number of intersex people and groups (including those representing parents), health professionals, academics and government agencies to discuss human rights issues for intersex people.

The discussion was very valuable and you can read a summary here. Participants asked the Commission to host a second longer meeting, in Auckland, early in 2010. Almost 20 people will be attending this discussion on 26 February.


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Welcome

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Cindy from Hamilton AgenderKia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the fifth issue of To Be Who I Am. This newsletter includes articles about new resources, support groups, community events and opportunities to have a say about human rights issues for trans people.

Cindy (pictured) and other local trans people in Hamilton are helping to run a Trans 101 workshop at Waikato Museum on Thursday 12 November. Two weeks later there is the chance to meet a dynamic panel of trans youth and to watch dancers, singers, animators and performers show you how they celebrate their gender identity. If you live nearby, come along to support them.

We hope to see many of you at the Wellington and Auckland Transgender Inquiry updates in December.

Transgender Inquiry updates

Commission staff met with local trans communities in Christchurch in late July, when we were in town for the Assume Nothing workshops. Wellington and Auckland trans people and others interested in supporting the Inquiry recommendations are invited to these end-of-year updates.
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Waikato Museum workshops 12 and 26 November

Waikato Museum logoWaikato Museum is the home stretch of the Assume Nothing tour. Since Assume Nothing opened at the NewDowse in Lower Hutt on 12 April 2008, over 570 people have attended human rights workshops that the Commission and local trans people have run alongside the exhibition. This shows a real hunger for good information about the issues whakawāhine, fa’afafine, akava’ine and trans women and men face every day.
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Cover of OUSA's How Safe? ReportIn August an inspiring panel of trans youth presented the Young and Trans workshop at Canterbury Museum. Here is what two workshop participants had to say afterwards:

“We both found it the most incredible hour and a half. While we attended in order to learn, what we left with was far more of an insight than either of us expected. The strength and capacity of the young people that spoke really touched us.”
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Know your rights at work

Cover of Department of Labour reportBeing made redundant or trying to get your first job is challenging for everyone. Trans people often face the added hurdle of discrimination.
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What is your sex?

The July email newsletter talked about Statistics New Zealand’s current policy that trans people should put their biological sex on census forms. The Human Rights Commission made a submission to Statistics New Zealand’s review of Culture and Identity Statistics. The Commission said requiring trans people to disclose personal details about their gender identity places them at risk of possible discrimination.
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Have your say about human rights

Image of a person voting What are the most pressing human rights issues in New Zealand, and what would make the biggest difference in your life?

The Human Rights Commission is thinking about its next five-year Human Rights Action Plan and wants to hear from you.
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Transgender Day of Remembrance 20 November

Transgender Day of Remembrance logo“The biggest thing I’d like to see this Inquiry address is the fear held by trans people.” (Cross-dresser)

Friday 20 November is the 11th International Transgender Day of Remembrance. Vigils around the world commemorate the lives of trans people, and sometimes their partners and friends, who have been killed in the last 12 months because of their gender identity. This year trans groups have organised a number of commemorations in New Zealand where at least one local trans woman will be remembered.
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Yogyakarta principles webiste logo

In a very significant move, a United Nations treaty body has stated that gender identity is a prohibited ground of discrimination in international law. This spells out countries’ obligations to not discriminate against trans people.

This recently adopted General Comment on Non-Discrimination also includes the first explicit reference to the Yogyakarta Principles. These principles apply international human rights law to gender identity and sexual orientation issues.
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New passports policy

Passports

The Department of Internal Affairs has confirmed a change to their policy about when a trans woman can have an F on her passport and a trans man can have an M.

If a trans person is able to obtain a Family Court declaration changing their sex details, those new details will be accepted for a passport.
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Shane

Shane

The Human Rights Commission is holding three free trans workshops on Tuesday 28 July and Tuesday 18 August alongside the Assume Nothing exhibition at Canterbury Museum. The workshops have been fully booked in other cities and over 300 people have attended them in the last year.
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Human rights hui for trans people

To Be Who I Am image

To Be Who I Am image

On 2 and 3 March over 40 trans people from Whangarei to Dunedin came to a national human rights hui at Tapu te Ranga marae in Wellington. The youngest participant was still at school and brought her grandmother along to share this journey with us all. This ground-breaking hui was the first time many of the trans people who have been involved in the Transgender Inquiry at a regional level met each other.
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Help create a resource for schools

Jaimie - a GenderQuest member

Jaimie - a GenderQuest member

Do you want to help the Human Rights Commission develop an online FAQ factsheet for schools? Any suggested questions and answers or offers of help are very welcome.

We would particularly like to hear from trans students and parents or teachers. Contact us on transgenderinquiry@hrc.co.nz.

Read more…

WPATH logo

In June 2009 a small number of Auckland health professionals, including a trans woman, attended the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) symposium in Norway. There they talked with Australian colleagues about establishing an Australasian branch of the WPATH.


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Have your say

Transgender logo

The Transgender Inquiry found that often trans people did not have the opportunity to have a say in decisions that affect their lives. Submissions are due soon on two documents relevant to trans people:

  • Statistics NZ’s Review of Culture and Identity Statistics (by 14 August).
  • Agender NZ’s and Transgender.co.nz’s second draft of its Trans Health Guide (by 31 July).


Read more…

APF image

In May the New Zealand Human Rights Commission joined other national human rights institutions (NHRIs) at an Asia Pacific Forum (APF) meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Participants from Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Jordan, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, Korea and Thailand talked about how they can better protect and promote the rights of trans, gay, lesbian and bisexual people.


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Agender logo

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan was in good company at the Agender national conference over Queen’s Birthday weekend. Other speakers included Agender Patron Carmen Rupe, Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast and Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson.


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Welcome

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Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, nisa bula vinaka, kia orana and welcome to the fourth issue of To Be Who I Am.

We hope you like the new blog format which gives you the option of commenting on newsletter articles.

You can read other people’s comments by visiting the Commission’s e-newsletters page and scrolling down to To Be Who I Am in the right-hand menu.